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The Effect of Vocal Hygiene Training Via Videoconference in Teachers’ Voices

      Summary

      Purpose

      Voice disorders are frequently seen among teachers. Intense and inappropriate use of the voice is the most frequent reason. In the literature, studies supporting the positive effect of voice hygiene behaviors to the voice in teachers exist. In the v pandemic era that we pass through, it's being observed that teaching via videoconference is becoming widespread all around the world. The primary aim of this study is to evaluate the risk factors for self-assessed “not normal” voice in teachers, in the light of their demographic and vocational information and voice hygiene behaviors. Our second aim in this study is to evaluate the effect of voice hygiene training via videoconference on teachers’ voice. We believe this will contribute in shaping today's therapy modalities in vocal training.

      Materials and Methods

      One hundred nine teachers, working as primary, secondary or high school teacher actively in different cities in Turkey, between 25 and 55 years of age participated and self-assessed their voice by filling the survey including demographic, occupational, medical history and voice symptoms and vocal behaviors data as well as Voice Handicap Index (VHI)-10 ve voice self rating scale (VSRS). The teachers with VHI-10 score below 5 and VSRS score “normal” were assumed to have “Normal Voice.” The teachers with VHI-10 score 5 or above and VSRS “Not Normal” (mild, moderate or severe) (N = 52) were assigned to “Voice Hygiene Group” and were invited to videoconference for a voice hygiene session. Four weeks after this session, the survey, VHI-10 and VSRS were repeated and the results were compared.

      Results

      In the first phase of the study, risk factors for not being in “Normal Voice” group for the teachers have been assessed. “Having chronic disease” and “having experienced voice problem before” have been found to be risk factors. In the second phase of the study, 52 teachers have been invited to online “Voice Hygiene” videoconference session; only 18 teachers have attended in total of three attempts of sessions. When vocal behaviors before and after the videoconference were compared, positive changes have been observed in five vocal behaviors including “avoiding smoking,” “drinking enough water daily,” “eating healthy food,” “avoiding excessive meals,” “avoiding frequent throat clearing,” however VHI-10 and VSRS scores have not showed a meaningful change. Only one teacher has progressed to “normal voice” from “Voice Hygiene Group.”

      Conclusion

      We believe further controlled studies with more participants adherent to videoconference sessions will be needed in order to shape today's therapy modalities.

      Key Words

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